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Jeff the Killer

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Estimated reading time — 23 minutes

Jeff the Killer Origins and History

Jeff The Killer

You wake at 3AM. Disturbed by some subtle shifting sound within the room, just on the edge of hearing. Propping up on one arm you survey the room looking for some source for the noise, hoping beyond hope that you won’t find one. At first, your hopes are raised, everything seems to be silent, everything seems to be still. But it isn’t. 

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From behind the long concealing drape of the curtain a voice, with flickering serpentine hiss whispers

“Go to sleep…”. Suddenly, you know what’s about to happen and exactly who is waiting to meet you.

As recognisable and widely known as he is feared, Jeff the Killer, the eponymous villain of numerous stories littering the internet is one of the best known and most widely referenced Creepypasta characters to have emerged from the shadowy corners of the web over the past  few decades.

But exactly who or what is this infamous denizen of the darkness? Where did the character come from, how has it evolved and from which horrific pit of hell or the internet did ‘that’ haunting image emerge? 

Overview and Synopsis at a Glance

Firstly, for those unfamiliar with the character ‘Jeff the Killler’  the most widely known Creepypasta on this character can be found here. The story is usually linked to a version of this image in which the character is shown to be noseless, with bleached white skin, a leering permanent grin and lank black hair. 

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For those wanting a quick overview, the story of Jeff Killer goes something like this:

At thirteen years old Jeff  ( Jeffery Alan Woods or Jeff C. Hodek depending upon who you ask, but more on that later) moves with his parents and brother Lui to a new town. Here, Jeff and his sibling encounter three bullies and are threatened with knives. 

Jeff beats these bullies badly, with Lui taking the blame for the assault and being carted off by the ever reliable police. Guilt ridden and depressed at having let Lui take the blame for his actions, Jeff’s day gets even worse when he meets the bullies again and is horribly burnt in an attack with alcohol and bleach. 

This burning results in Jeff being permanently disfigured, his skin bleached white,  physically whilst his mind ‘snaps’. 

Upon being discharged for some reason (his doctors apparently attributing Jeff’s insane behaviour to the painkillers he is taking) Jeff arrives home and proceeds to make a bad situation worse by purposely mutilating his already disfigured face, cutting a permanent smile into his mouth and cheeks and burning of his eyelids so that he can always see his face. 

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Jeff then goes on to kill both his parents and his brother Lui, meeting him with the instruction ‘Go to sleep’ before stabbing him and disappearing on a wider and less discriminating killing spree, which it would seem, continues to this day. 

Jeff The Killer Appearance and Origins

According to the Creepypasta explanations Jeff’s fixed grin is due to scarring he inflicted upon himself, his eyes stare widely because he burnt off his own eyelids and his skin is lilly white as a result of having been horribly burnt by bullies with a combination of alcohol and bleach.

The ‘photograph’ that accompanies the many Jeff the Killer stories and which looks like a cross between Micheal Jackson and a demented dolphin,  is widely known not only from the many derivative creepypastas using the character but die to its widespread use in screamer videos alongside Jeff’s famous catchphrase ‘Go to sleep’. However, it seems that the details of exactly how Jeff ended up with his hideous appearance corresponding as they do to this image, were retrofitted, the rationales being written to match the image, rather than the other way around…

Jeff Photos and Folklore

As with many creepypasta characters there seems to have been an ekphrastic element to Jeff the Killer’s Creation. What the hell does ekphrastic mean? Well, basically it means ‘based on or inspired by a work of art’. 

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Now, whilst most wouldn’t look at the image of Jeff the killer and regard it as ‘art’ it is commonly agreed the image upon which the story of Jeff the Killer is based actually predates the words making up his story, meaning that the creators began with the creepy image and went from there. The story was written to fit the picture,

Therefore to really get a handle on the the origins of Jeff the Killer it is first necessary to divide the investigation into two parts. First, we need to look at the origin of the image of Jeff that accompanied the original story, not to mention the many derivative stories and memes that have evolved from it and then look at where the story that grew out of the image came from.

Interestingly, the original ‘Jeff the Killer’ image and its origin has developed a mythology all of its own, with various competing theories and bogus explanations being put forward. Let’s have a go at unpicking them.

The first noted appearance of the famous image is from way back in 2005 on pya.cc a Japanese message board. 

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The image later appeared in a Japanese Youtube video NNN臨時放送”, a clip identified by some as scary film project, in which names and ages of future victims are listed. The video was uploaded  in August of 2007  and features a fleeting glimpse of the Jeff the Killer image which can be seen on screen at the 4 minutes eleven seconds mark followed by the words ‘good night’ which may be an early incarnation of, (or the inspiration for) the famous ‘Go to Sleep’ catchphrase with which Jeff is associated. 

That this video without a backstory or explanation existed before the story or even the name ‘Jeff the Killer’ surfaced seems to confirm that it was indeed the image that came first.  The  association of the image with the name ‘Jeff the Killer’ or any related title came in 2008 when a user on the forum Newgrounds uploaded the image using the name Killerjeff with the somewhat dubious claim that the image was a self portrait depicting him.

 Shortly following this first association of the photograph with the name, the first incarnation of anything resembling an actual  story for Jeff (and featuring the now famous image) was a video uploaded by Sesseur on October third 2008, with some sources claiming Sesseur and the previous Newgrounds uploader ‘Killerjeff’ to be the same person.

This original video which notably contained music by Pixies (which may have been the reason that the video was eventually removed) has been claimed by its creator as the original Jeff the Killer origin story and indeed does predate the more well known Creepypasta version of the tale.

Additionally it is worth noting that Sesseur ( consequently cited by most sources as Jeff’s creator)  has been critical of the details given in later incarnations of the story, insisting, presumably in reference to his original conception of the character, that bullies were not involved in the accident that led to Jeff’s  altered appearance, but rather that he slipped on some soap whilst carrying acid he intended to use to clean the drains in his bathroom. Sesseur has also pointed out in his version Jeff does not kill his parents and brother and even has different real name ( Jeff C. Hodek rather than Jeff Wood).

The later Creepypasta incarnations of Jeff The Killer, upon which the above synopsis is based, also have a somewhat convoluted history. 

Despite being very popular, the original version uploaded in 2011 was derided by many as being weakly told and of low quality with many insisting that the story did not meet the quality assurance standards of the site. 

It was eventually moved from creepypasta to a sister site dedicated to badly written Creepypastas. However, owing to the popularity of the character this removal  prompted many users to simply  reupload the story. In an attempt to placate these fans and to establish a ‘better’ version of Jeff’s story a competition was launched in 2015 to create a ‘re-make’. The winning story,  which exists in an uncut longer version and a shorter version (edited to  fit the constraints of the competitions word limit)  was written by K Banning Kellum is the version with which most people today are familiar. 

Jeff The Killer Creepypasta Story

Excerpt from a local newspaper: OMINOUS UNKNOWN KILLER IS STILL AT LARGE.

After weeks of unexplained murders, the ominous unknown killer is still on the rise. After little evidence has been found, a young boy states that he survived one of the killer’s attacks and bravely tells his story.

“I had a bad dream and I woke up in the middle of the night,” says the boy, “I saw that for some reason the window was open, even though I remember it being closed before I went to bed. I got up and shut it once more. Afterwards, I simply crawled under my covers and tried to get back to sleep. That’s when I had a strange feeling, like someone was watching me.

I looked up and nearly jumped out of my bed. There, in the little ray of light, illuminating from between my curtains, were a pair of two eyes. These weren’t regular eyes; they were dark, ominous eyes. They were bordered in black and… just plain out terrified me. That’s when I saw his mouth. A long, horrendous smile that made every hair on my body stand up. The figure stood there, watching me. Finally, after what seemed like forever, he said it. A simple phrase, but said in a way only a mad man could speak.

“He said, ‘Go To Sleep.’ I let out a scream, that’s what sent him at me. He pulled up a knife; aiming at my heart. He jumped on top of my bed. I fought him back; I kicked, I punched, I rolled around, trying to knock him off me. That’s when my dad busted in. The man threw the knife, it went into my dad’s shoulder. The man probably would’ve finished him off, if one of the neighbors hadn’t alerted the police.

“They drove into the parking lot and ran towards the door. The man turned and ran down the hallway. I heard a smash, like glass breaking. As I came out of my room, I saw the window that was pointing towards the back of my house was broken. I looked out it to see him vanish into the distance. I can tell you one thing, I will never forget that face. Those cold, evil eyes, and that psychotic smile. They will never leave my head.”

Police are still on the look for this man. If you see anyone that fits the description in this story, please contact your local police department.

Jeff and his family had just moved into a new neighborhood. His dad had gotten a promotion at work, and they thought it would be best to live in one of those “fancy” neighborhoods. Jeff and his brother Liu couldn’t complain though. A new, better house. What was not to love? As they were getting unpacked, one of their neighbors came by.

“Hello,” she said, “I’m Barbara; I live across the street from you. Well, I just wanted to introduce my self and to introduce my son.” She turns around and calls her son over. “Billy, these are our new neighbors.” Billy said hi and ran back to play in his yard.

“Well,” said Jeff’s mom, “I’m Margaret, and this is my husband Peter, and my two sons, Jeff and Liu.” They each introduced themselves, and then Barbara invited them to her son’s birthday. Jeff and his brother were about to object when their mother said that they would love to. When Jeff and his family are done packing, Jeff went up to his mom.

“Mom, why would you invite us to some kid’s party? If you haven’t noticed, I’m not some dumb kid.”

“Jeff,” said his mother, “We just moved here; we should show that we want to spend time with our neighbors. Now, we’re going to that party, and that’s final.” Jeff started to talk, but stopped himself, knowing that he couldn’t do anything. Whenever his mom said something, it was final. He walked up to his room and plopped down on his bed. He sat there looking at his ceiling when suddenly, he got a weird feeling. Not so much pain, but… a weird feeling. He dismissed it as just some random feeling. He heard his mother call him down to get his stuff, and he walked down to get it.

The next day, Jeff walked downstairs to get breakfast and got ready for school. As he sat there, eating his breakfast, he once again got that feeling. This time it was stronger. It gave him a slight tugging pain, but he once again dismissed it. As he and Liu finished breakfast, they walked down to the bus stop. They sat there waiting for the bus, and then, all of a sudden, some kid on a skateboard jumped over them, only inches above their laps. They both jumped back in surprise. “Hey, what the hell?”

The kid landed and turned back to them. He kicked his skateboard up and caught it with his hands. The kid seems to be about twelve; one year younger than Jeff. He wears an Aeropostale shirt and ripped blue jeans.

“Well, well, well. It looks like we got some new meat.” Suddenly, two other kids appeared. One was super skinny and the other was huge. “Well, since you’re new here, I’d like to introduce ourselves, over there is Keith.” Jeff and Liu looked over to the skinny kid. He had a dopey face that you would expect a sidekick to have. “And he’s Troy.” They looked over at the fat kid. Talk about a tub of lard. This kid looked like he hadn’t exercised since he was crawling.

“And I,” said the first kid, “am Randy. Now, for all the kids in this neighborhood, there is a small price for bus fare, if you catch my drift.” Liu stood up, ready to punch the lights out of the kid’s eyes when one of his friends pulled a knife on him. “Tsk, tsk, tsk, I had hoped you would be more cooperative, but it seems we must do this the hard way.” The kid walked up to Liu and took his wallet out of his pocket. Jeff got that feeling again. Now, it was truly strong; a burning sensation. He stood up, but Liu gestured him to sit down. Jeff ignored him and walked up to the kid.

“Listen here you little punk, give back my bro’s wallet or else.” Randy put the wallet in his pocket and pulled out his own knife.

“Oh? And what will you do?” Just as he finished the sentence, Jeff popped the kid in the nose. As Randy reached for his face, Jeff grabbed the kid’s wrist and broke it. Randy screamed and Jeff grabbed the knife from his hand. Troy and Keith rushed Jeff, but Jeff was too quick. He threw Randy to the ground. Keith lashed out at him, but Jeff ducked and stabbed him in the arm. Keith dropped his knife and fell to the ground screaming. Troy rushed him too, but Jeff didn’t even need the knife. He just punched Troy straight in the stomach and Troy went down. As he fell, he puked all over. Liu could do nothing but look in amazement at Jeff.

“Jeff how’d you?” was all he said. They saw the bus coming and knew they’d be blamed for the whole thing. So they started running as fast as they could. As they ran, they looked back and saw the bus driver rushing over to Randy and the others. As Jeff and Liu made it to school, they didn’t dare tell what happened. All they did was sit and listen. Liu just thought of that as his brother beating up a few kids, but Jeff knew it was more. It was something, scary. As he got that feeling he felt how powerful it was, the urge to just, hurt someone.

He didn’t like how it sounded, but he couldn’t help feeling happy. He felt that strange feeling go away, and stay away for the entire day of school. Even as he walked home due to the whole thing near the bus stop, and how now he probably wouldn’t be taking the bus anymore, he felt happy. When he got home his parents asked him how his day was, and he said, in a somewhat ominous voice, “It was a wonderful day.” Next morning, he heard a knock at his front door. He walked down to find two police officers at the door, his mother looking back at him with an angry look.

“Jeff, these officers tell me that you attacked three kids. That it wasn’t regular fighting, and that they were stabbed. Stabbed, son!” Jeff’s gaze fell to the floor, showing his mother that it was true.

“Mom, they were the ones who pulled the knives on me and Liu.”

“Son,” said one of the cops,” We found three kids, two stabbed, one having a bruise on his stomach, and we have witnesses proving that you fled the scene. Now, what does that tell us?” Jeff knew it was no use. He could say him and Liu had been attacked, but then there was no proof it was not them who attacked first. They couldn’t say that they weren’t fleeing, because truth be told they were. So Jeff couldn’t defend himself or Liu.

“Son, call down your brother.” Jeff couldn’t do it since it was he who beat up all the kids.

“Sir, it…it was me. I was the one who beat up the kids. Liu tried to hold me back, but he couldn’t stop me.” The cop looked at his partner and they both nod.

“Well, kid, looks like a year in juvie…”

“Wait!” says Liu. They all looked up to see him holding a knife. The officers pulled their guns and locked them on Liu.

“It was me, I beat up those little punks. Have the marks to prove it.” He lifted up his sleeves to reveal cuts and bruises, as if he was in a struggle.

“Son, just put the knife down,” said the officer. Liu held up the knife and dropped it to the ground. He put his hands up and walked over to the cops.

“No, Liu, it was me! I did it!” Jeff had tears running down his face.

“Huh, poor bro. Trying to take the blame for what I did. Well, take me away.” The police led Liu out to the patrol car.

“Liu, tell them it was me! Tell them! I was the one who beat up those kids!” Jeff’s mother put her hands on his shoulders.

“Jeff please, you don’t have to lie. We know it’s Liu, you can stop.” Jeff watched helplessly as the cop car speeds off with Liu inside. A few minutes later Jeff’s dad pulled into the driveway, seeing Jeff’s face and knowing something was wrong.

“Son, son what is it?” Jeff couldn’t answer. His vocal cords were strained from crying. Instead, Jeff’s mother walked his father inside to break the bad news to him as Jeff wept in the driveway. After an hour or so Jeff walked back into the house, seeing that his parents were both shocked, sad, and disappointed. He couldn’t look at them. He couldn’t see how they thought of Liu when it was his fault. He just went to sleep, trying to get the whole thing off his mind. Two days went by, with no word from Liu at JDC. No friends to hang out with. Nothing but sadness and guilt. That is until Saturday, when Jeff is woken up by his mother, with a happy, sunshiny face.

“Jeff, it’s the day,” she said as she opened up the curtains and let light flood into his room.

“What? What’s today?” asked Jeff as he stirs awake.

“Why, it’s Billy’s party.” He was now fully awake.

“Mom, you’re joking, right? You don’t expect me to go to some kid’s party after…” There was a long pause.

“Jeff, we both know what happened. I think this party could be the thing that brightens up the past days. Now, get dressed.” Jeff’s mother walked out of the room and downstairs to get ready herself. He fought himself to get up. He picked out a random shirt and pair of jeans and walked downstairs. He saw his mother and father all dressed up; his mother in a dress and his father in a suit. He thought, why they would ever wear such fancy clothes to a kid’s party?

“Son, is that all your going to wear?” said Jeff’s mom.

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“Better than wearing too much,” he said. His mother pushed down the feeling to yell at him and hid it with a smile.

“Now Jeff, we may be over-dressed, but this is how you go if you want to make an impression.” said his father. Jeff grunted and went back up to his room.

“I don’t have any fancy clothes!” he yelled downstairs.

“Just pick out something.” called his mother. He looked around in his closet for what he would call fancy. He found a pair of black dress pants he had for special occasions and an undershirt. He couldn’t find a shirt to go with it though. He looked around and found only striped and patterned shirts. None of which go with dress pants. Finally, he found a white hoodie and put it on.

“You’re wearing that?” they both said. His mother looked at her watch. “Oh, no time to change. Let’s just go.” She said as she herded Jeff and his father out the door. They crossed the street over to Barbara and Billy’s house. They knocked on the door and at it appeared that Barbara, just like his parents, way over-dressed. As they walked inside all Jeff could see were adults, no kids.

“The kids are out in the yard. Jeff, how about you go and meet some of them?” said Barbara.

Jeff walked outside to a yard full of kids. They were running around in weird cowboy costumes and shooting each other with plastic guns. He might as well be standing in a Toys R Us. Suddenly a kid came up to him and handed him a toy gun and hat.

“Hey. Wanna pway?” he said.

“Ah, no kid. I’m way too old for this stuff.” The kid looked at him with that weird puppy-dog face.

“Pwease?” said the kid. “Fine,” said Jeff. He put on the hat and started to pretend shoot at the kids. At first, he thought it was totally ridiculous, but then he started to actually have fun. It might not have been super cool, but it was the first time he had done something that took his mind off of Liu. So he played with the kids for a while, until he heard a noise. A weird rolling noise. Then it hit him. Randy, Troy, and Keith all jumped over the fence on their skateboards. Jeff dropped the fake gun and ripped off the hat. Randy looked at Jeff with a burning hatred.

“Hello, Jeff, is it?” he said. “We have some unfinished business.” Jeff saw his bruised nose.” I think we’re even. I beat the crap out of you, and you get my brother sent to JDC.”

Randy got an angry look in his eyes. “Oh no, I don’t go for even, I go for winning. You may have kicked our asses that one day, but not today.” As he said that Randy rushed at Jeff. They both fell to the ground. Randy punched Jeff in the nose, and Jeff grabbed him by the ears and head-butted him. Jeff pushed Randy off of him and both rose to their feet. Kids were screaming and parents were running out of the house. Troy and Keith both pulled guns out of their pockets.

“No one interrupts or guts will fly!” they said. Randy pulled a knife on Jeff and stabbed it into his shoulder.

Jeff screamed and fell to his knees. Randy started kicking him in the face. After three kicks Jeff grabs his foot and twists it, causing Randy to fall to the ground. Jeff stood up and walked towards the back door. Troy grabbed him.

“Need some help?” He picks Jeff up by the back of the collar and throws him through the patio door. As Jeff tries to stand he is kicked down to the ground. Randy repeatedly starts kicking Jeff, until he starts to cough up blood.

“Come on Jeff, fight me!” He picks Jeff up and throws him into the kitchen. Randy sees a bottle of vodka on the counter and smashes the glass over Jeff’s head.

“Fight!” He throws Jeff back into the living room.

“Come on Jeff, look at me!” Jeff glances up, his face riddled with blood. “I was the one who got your brother sent to JDC! And now you’re just gonna sit here and let him rot in there for a whole year! You should be ashamed!” Jeff starts to get up.

“Oh, finally! you stand and fight!” Jeff is now to his feet, blood and vodka on his face. Once again he gets that strange feeling, the one in which he hasn’t felt for a while. “Finally. He’s up!” says Randy as he runs at Jeff. That’s when it happens. Something inside Jeff snaps. His psyche is destroyed, all rational thinking is gone, all he can do is kill. He grabs Randy and pile drives him to the ground. He gets on top of him and punches him straight in the heart. The punch causes Randy’s heart to stop. As Randy gasps for breath. Jeff hammers down on him. Punch after punch, blood gushes from Randy’s body, until he takes one final breath, and dies.

Everyone is looking at Jeff now. The parents, the crying kids, even Troy and Keith. Although they easily break from their gaze and point their guns at Jeff. Jeff sees the guns trained on him and runs for the stairs. As he runs Troy and Keith let out fire on him, each shot missing. Jeff runs up the stairs. He hears Troy and Keith follow up behind. As they let out their final rounds of bullets Jeff ducks into the bathroom. He grabs the towel rack and rips it off the wall. Troy and Keith race in, knives ready.

Troy swings his knife at Jeff, who backs away and bangs the towel rack into Troy’s face. Troy goes down hard and now all that’s left is Keith. He is more agile than Troy though, and ducks when Jeff swings the towel rack. He dropped the knife and grabbed Jeff by the neck. He pushed him into the wall. A thing of bleach fell down on top of him from the top shelf. It burnt both of them and they both started to scream. Jeff wiped his eyes as best as he could. He pulled back the towel rack and swung it straight into Keith’s head. As he lay there, bleeding to death, he let out an ominous smile.

“What’s so funny?” asked Jeff. Keith pulled out a lighter and switched it on. “What’s funny,” he said, “Is that you’re covered in bleach and alcohol.” Jeff’s eyes widened as Keith threw the lighter at him. As soon as the flame made contact with him, the flames ignited the alcohol in the vodka. While the alcohol burned him, the bleach bleached his skin. Jeff let out a terrible screech as he caught on fire. He tried to roll out the fire but it was no use, the alcohol had made him a walking inferno. He ran down the hall and fell down the stairs. Everybody started screaming as they saw Jeff, now a man on fire, drop to the ground, nearly dead. The last thing Jeff saw was his mother and the other parents trying to extinguish the flame. That’s when he passed out.

When Jeff woke he had a cast wrapped around his face. He couldn’t see anything, but he felt a cast on his shoulder, and stitches all over his body. He tried to stand up, but he realized that there was some tube in his arm, and when he tried to get up it fell out, and a nurse rushed in.

“I don’t think you can get out of bed just yet,” she said as she put him back in his bed and re-inserted the tube. Jeff sat there, with no vision, no idea of what his surroundings were. Finally, after hours, he heard his mother.

“Honey, are you okay?” she asked. Jeff couldn’t answer though, his face was covered, and he was unable to speak. “Oh honey, I have great news. After all the witnesses told the police that Randy confessed of trying to attack you, they decided to let Liu go.” This made Jeff almost bolt up, stopping halfway, remembering the tube coming out of his arm. “He’ll be out by tomorrow, and then you two will be able to be together again.”

Jeff’s mother hugs Jeff and says her goodbyes. The next couple of weeks were those where Jeff was visited by his family. Then came the day where his bandages were to be removed. His family members were all there to see it, what he would look like. As the doctors unwrapped the bandages from Jeff’s face everyone was on the edge of their seats. They waited until the last bandage holding the cover over his face was almost removed.

“Let’s hope for the best,” said the doctor. He quickly pulls the cloth; letting the rest fall from Jeff’s face.

Jeff’s mother screams at the sight of his face. Liu and Jeff’s dad stare awe-struck at his face.

“What? What happened to my face?” Jeff said. He rushed out of bed and ran to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror and saw the cause of the distress. His face. It…it’s horrible. His lips were burnt to a deep shade of red. His face was turned into a pure white color, and his hair singed from brown to black. He slowly put his hand to his face. It had a sort of leathery feel to it now. He looked back at his family then back at the mirror.

“Jeff,” said Liu, “It’s not that bad….”

“Not that bad?” said Jeff,” It’s perfect!” His family was equally surprised. Jeff started laughing uncontrollably His parents noticed that his left eye and hand were twitching.

“Uh… Jeff, are you okay?”

“Okay? I’ve never felt more happy! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaa, look at me! This face goes perfectly with me!” He couldn’t stop laughing. He stroked his face feeling it. Looking at it in the mirror. What caused this? Well, you may recall that when Jeff was fighting Randy something in his mind, his sanity, snapped. Now he was left as a crazy killing machine, that is, his parents didn’t know.

“Doctor,” said Jeff’s mom, “Is my son… alright, you know. In the head?”

“Oh yes, this behavior is typical for patients that have taken very large amounts of pain killers. If his behavior doesn’t change in a few weeks, bring him back here, and we’ll give him a psychological test.”

“Oh, thank you, doctor.” Jeff’s mother went over to Jeff. “Jeff, sweetie, it’s time to go.”

Jeff looks away from the mirror, his face still formed into a crazy smile. “Kay mommy, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaa!” his mother took him by the shoulder and took him to get his clothes.

“This is what came in,” said the lady at the desk. Jeff’s mom looked down to see the black dress pants and white hoodie her son wore. Now they were clean of blood and now stitched together. Jeff’s mother led him to his room and made him put his clothes on. Then they left, not knowing that this was their final day of life.

Later that night, Jeff’s mother woke to a sound coming from the bathroom. It sounded as if someone was crying. She slowly walked over to see what it was. When she looked into the bathroom she saw a horrendous sight. Jeff had taken a knife and carved a smile into his cheeks.

“Jeff, what are you doing?” asked his mother.

Jeff looked over to his mother. “I couldn’t keep smiling, mommy. It hurt after awhile. Now I can smile forever.” Jeff’s mother noticed his eyes, ringed in black.

“Jeff, your eyes!” His eyes were seemingly never closing.

“I couldn’t see my face. I got tired and my eyes started to close. I burned out the eyelids so I could forever see myself; my new face.” Jeff’s mother slowly started to back away, seeing that her son was going insane. “What’s wrong mommy? Aren’t I beautiful?

“Yes son,” she said, “Yes you are. L-let me go get daddy, so he can see your face.” She ran into the room and shook Jeff’s dad from his sleep. “Honey, get the gun we…..” She stopped as she saw Jeff in the doorway, holding a knife.

“Mommy, you lied.” That’s the last thing they hear as Jeff rushes them with the knife, gutting both of them.

His brother Liu woke up, startled by some noise. He didn’t hear anything else, so he just shut his eyes and tried to go back to sleep. As he was on the border of slumber, he got the strangest feeling that someone was watching him. He looked up, before Jeff’s hand covered his mouth. He slowly raised the knife ready to plunge it into Liu. Liu thrashed here and there trying to escape Jeff’s grip.

“Shhhhhhh,” Jeff said. “Just go to sleep.”

Remember to check out the Jeff The Killer Reboot of this creepypasta classic.

Dark Images and Darker Stories

Whilst the above explains the backstory of the Creepypasta tale itself, the question remains, where did the image come from in the first place? Here is where fact and fiction begin to blur with even the photograph’s origins being obscured by half truth and myth. 

For some time it was believed the photograph was a photoshop manipulated image of a girl identified as Katy Robinson. The story went that this young girl, who was considered by some internet trolls to be overweight, was eventually driven to suicide by online bullies. Her image was then photoshopped and used as the basis for the most widely known Jeff the Killer image. 

It’s a tragic story which though it exists entirely separately from the Jeff the Killer Creepypasta lends Jeff’s image of the bleach skinned wide eyed smiler, an even more sinister aspect and a legitimate reason to find the image unnerving, depicting as it did not only a deceased girl, but a victim of the same species of bullying that the fictional character endures. Unfortunately, this story also turns out to be nonsense. 

The Katy Robinson story and the entire idea that the Jeff the Killer image used the photograph of a deceased girl as its basis has been debunked. The girl featured in the photograph alleged to belong to the unfortunate  Ms Robinson is actually a girl named Heather White, who has confirmed that the images alleged to have been manipulated have nothing to do with the famous image of Jeff the Killer. 

Another theory which has gained traction in recent years is that the original photograph was of an unnamed stickam girl. This girl, who is alleged to have been crying for attention, was said to have used images in which the flash from the camera or monitor illuminated and overexposed her face giving it the bleached out white appearance familiar from the Jeff Killer images. 

Her image was subsequently screenshotted and adopted by another anonymous user who then posed as her using her photograph to ask “Am I pretty?” 

Responding to what seemed to be naked self promotion or hunting for sympathy clicks, viewers of the image gradually added to a thread in which they manipulated the image, so that it gradually became more and more distorted. These photoshopped images are believed by some to have evolved into the original Jeff the Killer photographs. Well that’s one theory at least and currently the one that seems to be given the most creedence. 

Other theories as to the image’s origin are that the root image is in fact simply a manipulated photograph of Jeff The Killer’s original poster Susseur wearing a latex mask. This is actually what he claimed, though the fact that the image has been identified in videos and other sources a number of years before he posted his story makes this claim seem somewhat unreliable. 

As is the theory that the image is a manipulation of the ‘overly attached girlfriend’ meme because of the similarly wide eyed and smiling pose. This theory can be debunked almost immediately owing to the fact that the meme in question (based on an image of Laina Morris) features an image from 2012, meaning that it came into existence long after the earliest known version of the Jeff image and indeed the original Jeff the Killer story.  

So far the farthest back anyone has been able to trace the image is to a Japanese site called pya.cc where two versions of the image were found, both faces are noseless, though one has added contour shading around the eyes and the area where the nose would be. It has also been noted that the two images have different eye shapes, with one looking more like the eyes from a stuffed toy or cartoon character.

Other Possible Jeff Influences. 

Though they seem to be less widely acknowledged a number of other pop culture characters have clearly influenced the evolution of Jeff the Killer 

Most prominent amongst these is the DC villain and Batman arch nemesis The Joker. Not only does this character share the clown-like combination of a white face and maniacal smile, but in Tim Burton’s version  (as played by Jack Nicholson) his face is disfigured by an accident with chemicals, a trope which is also present in various versions of the Jeff the Killer story.

In Christopher Nolan’s version meanwhile, the noticeably scarred Joker (played by Heath Ledger) is thought to have deliberately mutilated his own face in order to create the fixed grin, telling various conflicting stories throughout the film as to how he was scarred in the first place. Again this is a  trope employed in the Jeff the Killer stories. 

Both The Joker  and Jeff can trace their origins further back to the early black and white classic The Man who Laughed in which the tragic hero has a fixed maniacal smile throughout. 

Even less discussed is the obvious influence of Japanese manga (and later movie) character Ichi the Killer who not only shares virtually the same name as Jeff but has a fondness for knives and homicide and also sports a badly scarred mouth twisted into a permanent smile.  

Why is Jeff The Killer So Popular?

Credit for the Jeff the Killer character: Sesseur (DeviantArt)

Publisher’s Note: According to the character’s original creator, Sesseur, he is not the author of the tale featured here, and claims this popular version of the Jeff story is “fan-fiction” written by a follower of his earlier work, which has since been lost. For the original story of Jeffrey Hodek, per the vision of the character’s original creator, you can visit Sesseur’s DeviantArt post here.

Remember to check out the Jeff The Killer Reboot of this creepypasta classic.

More classic Creepypasta stories can be found here:
Slender Man
Ben Drowned
Jeff The Killer vs Slenderman

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